Hungry for an easy way to improve your recipes...and your health? Look no further than your spice cabinet.

By replacing traditional seasonings like sugar, salt and fat with herbs and spices, you can improve your overall health—along with the flavor of your food," says Suzanna Zick, a naturopathic physician and researcher at the University of Michigan Health System. Adding herbs and spices can help you maintain a healthy weight. Plus, they can help prevent certain cancers, and even lower blood pressure, control blood sugar and improve cardiovascular health."

Herb such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, pars-ley and garlic are excellent replacements for salt, and can bring out the natural flavors in a meal. These and other spices are a preventative health measure for your diet…

  • Garlic. To help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, you need to eat about three medium doves of fresh garlic per day. Dry garlic, or garlic left out too long, loses its health punch.
  • Rosemary. It's an antioxidant believed to improve memory and possibly help prevent cancer and help overcome colds.
  • Thyme. It has long been used to treat coughs. even whooping cough, says Zick. .Basil and oregano. The essential oils in these herbs are also thought to fight against colds.
  • Turmeric. Researchers find that curcumin found in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can shrink precancerous colon polyps. Turmeric can be consumed alone or as part of curry mixes.
  • Ginger. It's a popular nausea reliever; credit goes to substances called gingerols that relieve queasiness.
  • "Warming spices” including nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, cayenne pepper and ginger are thought to better disperse blood throughout the body. This may bring better blood flow to skin and extremities, says Zick, and possibly improve blood pressure.

Amazing! Spice That Zaps Cancer Cells

A powdered form of ginger kills ovarian cancer cells, according to a new laboratory study. Ginger may be unique because it causes cells to die in two distinctly different ways. This could aid in the development of therapies for treatment-resistant cancers.

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